Full Disclosure
September 9, 2005

Why pollute your Paradise?

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is one of the region’s southerly deposits of beauty which forms a part of the well known Caribbean archipelago.

I have had the opportunity over the years to visit a few of the islands in the region, but without any doubt in my mind, I am certain that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the most outstanding in terms of natural beauty. {{more}}

Nonetheless, while it is great to speak of having a treasure in your possession, guarding your treasure chest is always a painstaking task.

Irrespective of one’s personal affiliation, it goes without saying that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is on a developmental path. Therefore as citizens we have an integral part to play in the entire process if the efforts to move forward are to bear fruits. In this light, one of the issues we must address collectively pertains to matters relating to pollution.

The Solid Waste Management Unit must be commended for implementing what appears from all angles to be an efficient system of garbage collection. Prior to this effort, despite many were fully aware that it is illegal to dump their garbage into rivers, ravines, or along the coast, it appeared regrettably, that there were little practical alternatives for garbage disposal.

Nevertheless, whilst there has been a general change for the better, it still appears that there are many who have not fully embraced the need for us to keep our country clean.

The Environmental Health Services Act 1991 outlines clearly, that no person shall dump on or leave any refuse in any public place or open space, or emit into the environment any contaminant or pollutant. But how effectively can the authorities police such an offence?

No one is usually there when you stop your car and swing those bags from the window of your car over into the river. There is also the problem of the dumping of tyres during the night, or the burning of tyres in areas which are close to residential developments.

As a people, we need to be harder on ourselves when it comes to the issue of pollution. This is an issue which should be personal to us.

In recent times our legislators have sought to adopt what may be considered as a more modern approach to the issue of Waste Management. The aim being to strengthen our ability to deal with waste management by implementing a ticketing system which would allow for offences to be dealt with without necessarily resorting to the Court. This is excellent, but as a people the onus remains on us to take pride in keeping our country clean if we are to seize the anticipated returns expected from the increased marketing of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a prime tourist destination.

The recent efforts by Bryden and Sprott to assist in promoting environmental awareness must not go unforeseen. This drive offers a cash incentive for the returning of Busta and Chubby bottles which will be collected and compacted before being shipped out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

It is a step in the right direction which is very much unlike the rather “laid back approach” taken by many in the private sector towards the modernization of our Capital. Many who seem only to be concerned with the collection of a monthly rent, fail to pay the extra to clean the grim structures which we face everyday.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was a gift from mother nature, let us all protect our Paradise.